Minister of Technology Amrik Virk says the disappearance of an unencrypted hard drive from the Ministry of Education is not a high risk.
But a group focusing on data breaches which can escalate into identity theft isn’t convinced.
“When you have enough building blocks, you can start putting together an identity. And that’s what we’re really fearful of here.”
Kevin Scott with the Canadian Identity Theft Prevention Association says in this day and age, all it takes is something as simple as a name.
“We see a lot of breeder information as we call it, which basically is starter information that allows criminals to start developing an identity to gain access to bank accounts and to gain access to getting visas and different types of credit cards.”
Scott says over the last few years, provincial governments and small hospitals have emerged as the “soft targets” for identity thieves given how much information they’re holding.
“It’s something we have to take seriously. It’s something anybody who was a student during that time period should basically start making sure that they’re watching their credit reports and making sure they’re not going to be somebody who’s a victim of identity theft.”
He adds this latest incident is proof the province needs to do more to combat data breaches, including increasing IT security, policy and protocol measures to protect confidential information.